Lexus Unveils Top-End LS 600h L Luxury Hybrid
12 April 2006
|The top-end Lexus 600h L: The “exclamation point” to the brand.|
Toyota’s Lexus division introduced its new flagship at the New York International Auto Show today: the 2008 Lexus LS 600h L. This hybrid version of the recently-introduced LS 460 (earlier post) combines a new 5.0-liter gasoline direct-injection V8 with large, high-output electric motors and a newly-designed battery pack to deliver more than 430 horsepower (321 kW).
Lexus expects the vehicle to earn a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) rating. By comparison, the LS 460, the 600h’s conventional counterpart, uses a 4.6-liter V8 that delivers 380 hp and earns a ULEV II rating. Lexus is positioning the 600h as delivering the power and performance of a 12-cylinder with best-in-class V8 fuel efficiency.
Lexus expects the V8-powered LS 460 to earn a combined city/highway mileage rating in the low 20s.
The 600h uses a new full-time all-wheel-drive system, and employs a newly developed dual-stage electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. The 460 models are rear-wheel drive and use a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The LS made quite a definitive statement. Today we’d like to add an exclamation point to that statement. The LS hybrid is that exclamation point.
It’s a vehicle developed to explore the outer reaches of performance, style, safety and technology. A vehicle as efficient and familiar as it is indulgent and advanced...—Bob Carter, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager
Coinciding with the debut of the all-new LS is the introduction of the Lexus Hybrid Drive name, which Lexus will now use globally for all its hybrid models.
The LS 600h L—which will be offered only with the long wheelbase (the “L”) in North America—will go on-sale in April 2007, six months after the LS 460 and LS 460 L launch in October 2006. More details will emerge closer to the sale introduction.
I've read elsewhere that it will only get around 17(US)mpg.
Posted by: James | 12 April 2006 at 08:20 AM
I doubt that, as the LS 460 gets fuel economy in the mid twenties city/highway. The hybrid should do better than the gas version...
Posted by: Dan | 12 April 2006 at 08:27 AM
That's what I thought. We shall have to wait and see.
Posted by: James | 12 April 2006 at 08:38 AM
430 HP -- In the movie "Smokie and the Bandit" Burt Reynolds only had 185 HP in his Trans AM and look at what that vehicle did. How much horse power does a car need??? It seems this technology is pushing more and more HP and only minimum gains if economy. I mean -- whats ya gona do wit 430 HP??? It's fun. It is neat. But 430 horsies - that's a lota get up and go!!
Posted by: JJ | 12 April 2006 at 08:46 AM
This car is infected with the same disease that most GM cars have.
Posted by: eric | 12 April 2006 at 08:48 AM
Stop moaning hippies. Not everyone likes slow cars.
Posted by: James | 12 April 2006 at 09:59 AM
Good point - far too many hippies on this site! This won't be a high-volume car. Relax. People who are in the market for a 7-series or an S-class AREN'T going to be looking at a Prius or a Camry Hybrid. Isn't this LS600h still a better option than the afformentioned luxury cars?
Posted by: Angelo | 12 April 2006 at 10:21 AM
You may call us hippies, but when gas hits 5$ a gallon, these things aren't exactly going to be in high demand.
Posted by: eric | 12 April 2006 at 11:55 AM
Indeed. This is supposed to go head to head against 12-cylinder / supercharged 8-cylinder ultra luxury cars. Very few of these are going to be on the roads.
Posted by: The Anonymous Poster | 12 April 2006 at 11:56 AM
A lot of low end Sedans these days are faster these days than a Porsche 911 during the 70s. The concept of what constitutes power has totally changed. I guess the whole concept of power has a lot to do with how old you are. I just find it totally weird that you have to get up to over 400hp before you feel like you really have power. It that makes me an old hippy, then so be it.
Posted by: t | 12 April 2006 at 12:09 PM
Pure bragging rights and one-upmanship, all style, vanity and no substance. Alas, the relentless pursuit of power!...for those who are still in the rat races.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 12 April 2006 at 02:10 PM
Basically this is a muscle hybrid. Its an electric supercharger that happens to shave off 1-2 mpg. If you want to save gas, buy a Prius, or at least just a V-6...
Posted by: Lance Funston | 12 April 2006 at 03:33 PM
Where some see a negative I see a positve. More $ going into hybrid research, technology trickle down and still fuel savings. \
The target audience would have bought a AMG Mercedes that would use far more fuel and put out far more crap into the air. This car is not moving sales away from more efficient cars, only from LESS efficient ones.
PS - A tuner/hacker/mechanic/genius could make this thing double as a generator for half the neighborhood.
Posted by: Hampden Wireless | 12 April 2006 at 04:26 PM
What a bunch of whiners. If you don't like the car, don't buy it. Not like most of you can afford something like this anyway.
"You may call us hippies, but when gas hits 5$ a gallon, these things aren't exactly going to be in high demand."
If you have the money to buy this car you can afford $5 a gallon. This car will be in very high demand especially if gas goes to $5 a gallon. Not everyone is willing to down grade to GS or ES simply because of gas prices.
Posted by: Justin | 12 April 2006 at 04:50 PM
The Prius will continue to be the testing ground for "extreme" hybridization and plug in. Technology won't trickle down, it will trickle up and sideways. Those in the forefront, the early adopters will be "drooling" over the Prius, not the Lexus. There are a helluva lot of people who can afford the Lexus but will buy the Prius because it will continue to be the cutting edge vehicle. Fortunately, the high end Lexus market is pretty much irrelevant and will contribute little, if anything, to the future of the automobile.
Posted by: t | 12 April 2006 at 05:44 PM
What I wish would change is the seeming synonymity of horsepower and luxury. Why is it now a requirement that a luxury sedan come with V8 or V12 power? Why can't we have an LS that trades the big engine for one that gets better fuel economy? Not everyone needs to get to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Some of us are pefectly content with getting there in 8 seconds.
Posted by: Cy | 12 April 2006 at 07:39 PM
Bravo, Toyota. Now cut V8 in half and put all this luxury into Matrix. M-m-m, electric AWD GDI hybrid with dynamic stability control…
Posted by: Andrey | 13 April 2006 at 12:13 AM
Earth to hippies:
There is no correlation between peak HP and fuel consumption in normal driving. If you want to talk about weight thats a whole other matter.
Posted by: Justin | 13 April 2006 at 02:38 AM
Justin, I believe you are mistaken. As I understand it, in order to get high horsepower with a standard ICE, you add displacement (more cylinders and accompanying valvetrain, etc). Friction increases, weight increases, but most importantly, pumping losses increase as you run at partial load. Throttled engines don't run efficiently at part load, and the further peak horsepower departs from the everyday load (cruising), the less efficient the ICE is going to run. Variable valve trains and other tweaks are designed to overcome this effect to some extent, but the basic fact remains.
Posted by: Nick | 13 April 2006 at 01:04 PM
You are just plain wrong.
Posted by: Justin | 13 April 2006 at 06:05 PM
Chevrolet Corvette: 400hp 6.0 litre V8, 3179 lbs.
18 city, 28 highway
BMW M3: 333hp 3.2 litre i6, 3415 lbs.
16 city, 24 highway.
There are plenty more examples where that came from but the conclusion is this: weight and aerodymics are far more relevant to fuel economy than simple displacement.
Posted by: Justin | 13 April 2006 at 06:12 PM
What would Corvette mileage be with Honda Civic engine (non-hybrid) under the hood? Higher, no? I rest my case.
Posted by: Nick | 13 April 2006 at 06:20 PM
Who would buy a corvette with a Civic engine? You have no case.
And no the fuel economy wouldn't be any higher with a civic engine. The corvette weights 600lb more than the civic with much wider tires and more frontal area. It wouldn't get anywhere near the civics fuel economy. In all likelyhood it would much lower fuel economy due to the internal friction generated at the much higher RPM the civic engine would have to run at.
Posted by: Justin | 13 April 2006 at 07:06 PM
Cars are too complex for these simple rules that more hp is worse fuel economy. Take a typical small car with 100hp standard engine. Add a turbo to it and it will get better mpg yet have more hp.
No not every turbo improves mpg but they certainly can if designed right. I heard one guy put a turbo on a Honda Insight got about 10% more mpg.
Posted by: hampden wireless | 13 April 2006 at 10:21 PM
Petrol already costs more than $5 a gallon in europe and rich people still buy cars like this.
As for the vette witha civic engine getting better mpg, bon't be silly. The honda engine does not make enough low rpm torque and the gearing would have to compensate, thus having a negative effect on mpg.
Posted by: James | 14 April 2006 at 04:40 AM